Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-20-2009, 10:43 AM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Share |
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
Those are good things to check out, but she still needs a legal setup for the wiring.

Jamie
Agreed. When the tech leaves everything should be safe, legal, good practice, and functioning.

I just hope the new wiring doesn't make it harder to find a problem with the tub, if there is one.
I'd feel better about this if the use of the current setup could be logically linked to the tub problem. Maybe it can, I don't know.

Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 10:46 AM   #17
DIY'er
 
jamiedolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Neenah, Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,032
Blog Entries: 2
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Agreed. When the tech leaves everything should be safe, legal, good practice, and functioning.

I just hope the new wiring doesn't make it harder to find a problem with the tub, if there is one.
I'd feel better about this if the use of the current setup could be logically linked to the tub problem. Maybe it can, I don't know.
Yes, I understand your point, I am just reluctant to send someone in the direction of repairing a system that is wired wrong. They may be very tempted to leave it setup wrong if it works again...

Jamie
__________________
Jamie Dolan - Neenah, WI
Jamie Dolan Paw Dogs
Need Help Uploading Photos? Click here.
jamiedolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 11:00 AM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Did the "electrician" install a disconnect? If not, you may want to look into something like this for it.
http://www.spaspecialist.com/Merchan...gory_Code=GFCI
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 11:31 AM   #19
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
Did the "electrician" install a disconnect? If not, you may want to look into something like this for it.
http://www.spaspecialist.com/Merchan...gory_Code=GFCI
Yes, there is a disconnect installed. I will post pictures of the install later today.
TahoeTexan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 11:37 AM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeTexan View Post
Yes, there is a disconnect installed. I will post pictures of the install later today.
At least that part is right, hopefully.
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 12:02 PM   #21
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 4,867
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Guys I think we need to establish if we have a feeder or not. So the first question should have been where is the 50 amp gfci located. If it is located in the main panel and the disconnect by the spa is not a fused/circuit breaker disconnect THEN THERE IS NO FEEDER and any wiring method of chapter three can be used all the way to the disconnect including romex as long as it stays inside.. then you may use a conduit method from the disconnect to the spa control panel. If the spa is a self contained or packaged unit with intergral gfci then no gfci is required in the supply.
Many spas are self contained or packaged with gfci so you need to check.

It sounds like romex is in emt on the exterior of the house and that is a code violation. If this isn't a feeder it would be ok up to the point of exiting the house into the emt.

The op's question is why is his gfci breaker tripping and it is only tripping on call for heat at the heater element. It's most likely a failing element (easily replaced) for around 100 to 200 bucks. They look like this...


That's not a for certain you would want to turn the heater off at the control panel. Check all the wiring make sure of the connections and any corrosion. Corrosion is a killer of spas. You can even ohm out the element if you want. If the gfci is tripping after you check those things and turn the heater back on then you either have a failing element or moisture on the wiring from a leak or something that is signaling the gfci to trip. Luminaires are also a gfci tripping cause. I doubt the gfci is bad or supply wiring cause it only trips when the spa is heating and not instantly when it calls for heat. You should turn off loads at the spa control panel and isolate the load that is on when tripping the gfci then you have pinned down what you need to look at.

My point is it isn't whether or not his install is necessarily compliant... that doesn't trip gfci's. It's fine to point these things out but it isn't helping with the cause. If you ran romex all the way to the spa that doesn't trip a gfci when it only trips on a call for heat. It's not the romex it is something most likely to do with the heater circuit.
__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie

Last edited by Stubbie; 02-20-2009 at 12:09 PM.
Stubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 12:21 PM   #22
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Thanks for getting us back on track. If the element was leaking to ground, wouldn't the GFCI trip at random times and not just during use? The element should go off and on all of time to maintain a minimum water temp.
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 12:38 PM   #23
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 4,867
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
Thanks for getting us back on track. If the element was leaking to ground, wouldn't the GFCI trip at random times and not just during use? The element should go off and on all of time to maintain a minimum water temp.
I'm not real clear what exactly the situation is...the element is thermostatically controlled, as your saying, and what is meant by tripping only when used isn't real clear. It sounds like it takes a while for the unit to trip out the gfci even when it's heating...several minutes sometimes. so I'm not clear if it is a random problem or not. If it is a 240 volt spa with 120 volt loads (not clear on that either) then it could be some other things).

Most likely this probably should be looked at by a spa technician.. who if he is any good will find the problem very quickly.

Probably not for the average DIY to figure this problem out IMO.
__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie
Stubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 01:05 PM   #24
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Thanks for getting back on topic. I WILL attend to the installation issues, but I also need to figure out the tripping problem.

Is it possible that the GFCI is wearing out (this does not sound right to me) or is it much more feasible that something is tripping it. What has me stumped is that it seems to trip randomly rather than specifically when something powers up.

The GFCI trips at random times, so far not during "non-use" times like during the day when it still heats and circulates water. It has only tripped after we having been using (ie running the jets, bubbles, etc.) it for 30 minutes or so.

It is 240v, I believe with 120v loads (two motors for jets and a stereo).
TahoeTexan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 01:11 PM   #25
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Is the GFCI in the main panel or the disconnect?
I saw a tub wired that had the tub neutral going to the neutral bar instead of the GFCI breaker. It would trip in maybe 15-30 minutes like you say
Easiest fix I ever did
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 01:52 PM   #26
DIY'er
 
jamiedolan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Neenah, Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,032
Blog Entries: 2
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeTexan View Post
Thanks for getting back on topic. I WILL attend to the installation issues, but I also need to figure out the tripping problem.

Is it possible that the GFCI is wearing out (this does not sound right to me) or is it much more feasible that something is tripping it. What has me stumped is that it seems to trip randomly rather than specifically when something powers up.

The GFCI trips at random times, so far not during "non-use" times like during the day when it still heats and circulates water. It has only tripped after we having been using (ie running the jets, bubbles, etc.) it for 30 minutes or so.

It is 240v, I believe with 120v loads (two motors for jets and a stereo).
GFCI breakers can go bad, but I would rule out other problems first.

Have a look at the name plate on the motor and tell us what it says, that will clarify if were dealing with straight 240 or 240/120. I think it is 240/120 since you have a stereo.

Water could be getting onto terminals or connections and causing a fault.

Where is the GFCI breaker? Is it outside by the tub or inside at the main panel?

Getting as detailed of photos as possible would help us steer you in the right direction. It very well maybe a spa issue, but imo, we should atleast consider things like bad connections / water or moisture getting where it shouldn't that are causing an intermitent problem like this.

To me, water / moisture where it should not be is a better explaination of intermitent problems than a failed element. I think if the element was gone as others have mentioned, that it would fault right away when the heater turns on.

Is there only one feed to this tub? The romex is the only thing feeding it correct? No other seperate 120v feed to the tub?

Jamie
__________________
Jamie Dolan - Neenah, WI
Jamie Dolan Paw Dogs
Need Help Uploading Photos? Click here.
jamiedolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 04:09 PM   #27
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Is the GFCI in the main panel or the disconnect?
I saw a tub wired that had the tub neutral going to the neutral bar instead of the GFCI breaker. It would trip in maybe 15-30 minutes like you say
Easiest fix I ever did
The GFCI is in the disconnect, outside the tub, about 6' from the tub on the exterior wall of the house.
TahoeTexan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 04:32 PM   #28
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
It would trip in maybe 15-30 minutes like you say
Why does it wait so long?
Why not shorter, or longer?
Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 05:24 PM   #29
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Why does it wait so long?
Why not shorter, or longer?
No idea
Since after looking at the wiring I found the problem I wasn't interested in any further investigation

And we wanted to use the tub
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2009, 05:35 PM   #30
Electrical Contractor
 
wirenut1110's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chester, VA.
Posts: 1,046
Send a message via AIM to wirenut1110
Default

Hot tub breaker tripping


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
No idea
Since after looking at the wiring I found the problem I wasn't interested in any further investigation
Kinda like the the reason something's always in the last place you look 'cause after you find it, you stop looking.

wirenut1110 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pool Main breaker keeps tripping beckyreyes Electrical 12 08-11-2013 04:06 PM
Main Breaker is tripping rdmccaw Electrical 18 02-05-2009 10:27 PM
New GFCI Breaker Tripping w/ 3-way Flourescents BigJimmy Electrical 8 12-29-2008 02:29 PM
Tripping Wrong Breaker woodworksnmore@comcast.ne Electrical 15 03-28-2008 01:47 PM
20 Amp Breaker tripping with GFCI panhandlion Electrical 7 12-12-2007 08:59 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.